Friday, October 30, 2015

Sister Brink is an ANGEL!

Elder and Sister Brink are serving in Tamale as the Member/Leader Support missionaries.  They remind Chris of his Pop and Nana, he said in one of his posts.  Sister Brink sent an email I shared in an earlier post.

She has been a great friend from the moment of her first email.  She and her husband do all they can to support and love those missionaries, as if they are their own parents, and to help the new members and leaders in the Tamale area.

I am sharing some of the pictures and portions of her emails here.  She is a blessing to a mom!!

A Great Day!

You know it was so crazy this afternoon and evening.  We got great pictures of the missionaries, but they all were having such great fun and I was doing the mom thing: Feeding the bunch.

My observation was positive of him. He ate really good and was filled up.  He knows you and I have emailed.  I said I love your mom and he said I love her too,  I asked him if he had a chance to email and he said he had 37 emails to answer and little time to answer them in.  He will get a system down.  All of them, especially USA missionaries struggle with getting the emailing done, to many to answer.  Many of the African missionaries have no one that emails them.

We will see him again tomorrow for district meeting. We will keep an eye out for him. Adjustment to a mission is a major change and then being in Africa it's even an added challenge.  He is surrounded by very positive support, I do think he will reach out for support if he feels he needs it.

Will close now but will keep you posted.

Know your prayers are heard, and are a great comfort to missionaries.

With my love,
Sister Brink


So Excited for Elder Morford

This email came just this morning.  It came at the moment I needed it most.  I was literally in tears over the refugee crisis in the world.  I was feeling so sad for all the suffering that so many people experience.  I just wanted to talk to Chris and tell him what I was feeling so started a letter.  Of course, I knew he wouldn't get that letter for at least a month, but it felt good to write it.

As I wrote, I noticed I had a new email and clicked over to find this message from Sister Brink.  My two-year-old looked at my thirteen-year-old and said, "Mommy crying"...because I was just in tears all over again!

Your prayers,  joined with all the prayers uttered around the world for the Lord's work to go forth and to watch over the missionaries, is a great benefit to each new missionary who is adjusting to missionary work!  Let me explain.

     I called Elder Morford this morning and asked him how the work was going.  He shared a wonderful spiritual experience with me.  I will let him share it with you, but, I will share my impression and feelings I had as he shared the experience with me:

     My feeling was sweet joy, because, your son has tasted that wonderful fruit of the gospel that comes when you do the Lords work.  One spiritual experience will give him that desire to carry on regardless of how difficult of a challenge he may face while on his mission.  I felt strongly this one experience will strengthen him to carry on!   So keep up those prayers.

This morning,  the branch president Gabriel,  is pictured with the elders.  They were all very happy. And each look good and all healthy!

A trip back to Kumasi

On October 20th, Elder Morford got to travel back to Kumasi with his trainer and two other elders.  They were there for training and were able to watch General Conference!

Here are some pictures of Kumasi and the mission home:

Looks like they are making a little music. :)

This scene reminds me of my hometown in San Diego County...even with the houses, just a little more third-world. :)
Sugar cereal and scriptures...what more could a boy want?

Whenever I see these beds I think about how the mission president and his wife are serving as the parents of the young men and women in their mission.  What a responsibility!  No one has ever had such a large family to preside over.
Having yam and plantain

study time

And they got to watch CONFERENCE!  There is Elder Bednar on the screen! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2 Baptisms, 2 lives, 1 Savior

Hey all.

Elder Smith and his comp had 2 baptisms yesterday, Sunday the 25th.  Brother L and Bro D, both men I love!!

I was starting to notice that even though we have had little to no success here on mission, the Lord has been building me in ways I cannot explain.  I love these people and the spirit they have, and even just being here feeling of that spirit is a blessing.  The pic of us eating was at Bro D's house.  We had Banku (bank-oo) and it was really good!!  

The spirit has been strong in my life and I can feel people helping me through.

This mission is not about me.  Its about the opportunity to share the gospel with those that might not be able to hear it.  And being here is a blessing.  

How are you all?  I hope all is well and being taken of by the Lord... because He knows us better than we know ourselves.

The time is short.  I really don't like how we have so little time to do everything, but it is for the best.  

Please pray for me.  I am struggling currently with Satan and his angels.

I love you all and happy Halloween from Elder Morford and Elder Ofoegbu. :D

Elder Mophy

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sibling Letters

These little notes between Elder Morford and his little siblings are so sweet, I had to include them in his blog.  They also give a bit of insight on his thoughts...

Dear Chris,

I love you.  Well, at church I learned that I could sing songs and talk about missionaries.

I really like to play with Lizzy.  She's chubby and I like that.  

I learned that elders in Ghana could be good and learn well and that people could say good things and do good things and hear good things with their ears.

I also learned about being baptized.

I love you,

Haha, I love you too sista!! You are so cute and amazing!! 

I love Lizzy too and wish I could play with her!!  Play for her for me ok?? :)

Yes, missionaries in Ghana are good, they are great people. :D

Love you!!
Elder Bro

Hi Chris!

We went to Jordan's lodge Saturday and I caught a rainbow trout.  

It's getting really close to my birthday and I learned the Sacrament prayers.

I feel really excited about being baptized.  I learned that baptism means that I am committing to go on a mission and serve other people and keeping the commandments.

We had General Conference and I'm really excited that we got new apostles.

I love you, Chris.


Buddy, that is so great!! I wish I could be there for your baptism, but the Lord had other plans for me!! :) That is so right that baptism brings you one step closer to God and a mission.  One of the best decisions to make!!

Im glad you watched General Conference.  It strengthens me! :)

Love you buddy!
Elder Bro

Well, this week... has been... you know...

Well, to start off, I just want all of you to know that I love and care about each of you.  I think about how much joy has been brought to my life by each and every one of you and I want to thank each one of you for doing so!!

This week has been hard.  We have swept the streets, searched the houses, and combed the fields, but we seem to find just Muslims.  

What's wrong with that? Nothing! They are great people! But you have to realize why we can't teach them.  If they commit to being baptized and be a part of this church, they will become hunted.  The law in Islam is if you leave the religion, the penalty is death, or hurt physically... it's really sad.

As you may have found out already, we had district meeting and I came and talked with the Brinks after I ate.  Very sweet couple that reminded me of my grandparents!! :)  The food was AMAZING as well. :) 

Anyway, yesterday we had dinner at the District President's house and had fish stew, (the whole fish, scales, all) yams, and plantains (like bananas). Over this dinner we laughed, talked and told stories that we had in our lives.  It was great!!  

This meeting was also for a brother who will be baptized next Sunday.  We just wanted to teach him a lesson about covenants, the priesthood, and enduring to the end.  It was really amazing to feel the spirit speaking through me.  It was as if I wasn't even talking, yet words were flowing out of my mouth!! It is an incredible feeling!!

Also yesterday, I got to see the other part of our area.  Really interesting...  

Anyway, this work has been going slow, but persistent!!  I can feel the love that you have for me, even though I am halfway across the world!!

Just know that I am praying for you too.  I love and miss you all.

Go study your scriptures when you get the chance! They change your life, if you allow them to!! So allow them to! XD


Elder Morford

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Gift in My Inbox

Today, this letter arrived in my inbox, completely unexpectedly!  What a wonderful thing for this sister to do!  She is a mom of eight married children and knows EXACTLY what a treasure this kind of thing is!  Thank you, Sister Brink!

Dear Sister Morford,

Hello,  we are senior MLS (member/leader support) missionaries in Tamale. We had the great pleasure today to visit with your son Elder Morford. He is doing well, and is adjusting to missionary life. Today was zone meeting and we cooked a lunch for the 16 missionaries that serve in Tamale,  after lunch we visited with your son and got acquainted with him. He expressed his love for his large family and you his mother and of course his father. We can tell you have trained him well.

Also, We wish to thank you for your generous humanitarian gifts you sent. The district president and my husband elder Brink are prayerfully identifying youth who could use these items. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Your goodness is reflected in your son.

The picture included, is of his fellow missionary roommates and his companion.  I know you will enjoy seeing your son, even if it is just a picture.

Please email at ant time and for any reason. We will watch over your son while he is in tamellay

Sister Brink

We ended up emailing back and forth a bit today.  What a joy.  She is a wonderful person.  I wanted to share some of what she wrote after her initial email and the pictures she sent:  

You had some questions about Tamale.  We are very happy  being in Tamale, and feel very safe.   It is a difficult area because it is 85-90% muslims.  We have found the muslims are very peaceful people and have good friendships with many of them.  However, missionaries do not approach to teach muslims, unless permission from the interested person has written permission from their family.  Then, it must be approved through the Mission President. The reason for this is the strict muslim belief and we wish no harm or ill will toward them personally.  So that leaves 10-15 % of the people the Missionaries search for, or I should say, the Lord directs the 10-15 %  to the missionaries

When we arrived in Tamale a year ago, it consisted of 3 groups and 1 branch.  I am going to forward a letter to you, I wrote yesterday to Sister Cosgrave, the mission presidents wife , as it expresses the wonderful feelings of the growth and the great work the missionaries are doing.We now have 4 branches and we are growing.  Elder Brink and I are also opening up Bolgatanga which is 2 hours further north.  It is wonderful to see the gospel spread.  It is an honor to be involved.

Your sons companion is a wonderful young man. They will keep very busy teaching and finding new people to teach.  I believe they have just found a new person to teach, and I know of a couple that they are working with.  They will be kept very busy.  The missionaries in Tamale are each good and obedient  missionaries.  I am proud of them, as if I am there mother. They work very hard, and they are blest and strengthened as they walk in obedience.  Elder Morford will do well and set the standard for the rest of your children.

Thank you so much for encouraging your son to serve a mission.  He is suppose to be here in Tamale!!!!!

From another letter:

I thought you might like to get a feel for Tamale, Ghana, Africa and the food!  This morning I picked up some chips for the meal I cooked for the missionaries. They are plantain chips (plantains look like really big bananas)
This sister and her family are investigating the church.  She makes "chips" and sells them daily.

This is the mother making the chips!

This is her daughter who is 16 who helps her mom.  They each have a baptism date set.  She is filling a little bag with the chips.  Your son ate these today, it will be fun to know if he liked them.

One last bit of information, in the last 6 months Tamale has gone to the Accra temple 2 times.  14 hours on a bus.  The first trip 13 saints went. A family was sealed. This last week 21 saints attended the temple another family was sealed!

Well... another life, another time, another story

Map of the Ghana Kumasi Mission.  Chris is...well...far away.  :)

Hey all!

The skies here are amazing and i hope all of you can see some pictures when I send them.  I am officially adapted to this life and am loving it. :)  Going out and working and testifying of this work is something else...!  I encourage all to do so if they get the chance.

We call our apartment "the party" apartment because we have WAAY too much fun after we are done with our day. :) Thats one misconception that people have is that it is not just all work here on mission, you actually have fun as well!! 

Anyway, hand washing laundry is not "ideal" but its something that needs to be done!  I was also having some fun with my camera and took some great pics of my eye, my white hair (its actually real) and us when we get home... :D

And his pen...

You can take the man out of Utah, but you can't take the photographer out of him, apparently.

So the mission is turning his hair white, I guess?  I want to know where all the art shots of the colors of Tamale are.  Mommy's next request...

We met two people yesterday who are brother and sister.  They were saying how they felt like there was something more than just the Bible.  They committed to reading the Book of Mormon and are going to pray about it as well. :D

These conditions that people live in are hard to see.  They are so sweet and humble, and always willing to hear a message about God.  

This life is crazy here.  Its hot, humid, and all around a dangerous place to be, but I love it. :) I am always happy now and wake up with a smile on my face.  No I am not bragging, but I know that as I have prayed humbly and with pure heart, wanting to know and being thankful for that which we have, I have noticed a change in the countenance which I have.  There seems to be an extra bounce in my step, even though we have to walk 6-7 miles a day, sometimes not teaching a lesson.  and I asked myself, why is this?  The answer came "because you are doing your part willingly, so the Lord is blessing you with that which you need in order to be a successful missionary."

I have been blessed immensely by the Lord and I have seen great work through the simple work we are doing.

This day, I ask each of you to pray in your hearts, and ask yourself, "what am i doing to become closer to the Lord?"  Because I know that as you do, and put away the distractions of this world, you will be blessed with which you CAN come closer to God, in every way, if you ask with a sincere heart, and having faith in the Almighty.

"Continue onward brethren.  For the work of the Lord will go forth nobly, steadfastly, till the Great Jehovah shall come and say that the work is done"

I so testify that the work of the Lord IS going forth, and we as His children need to become the willing servants and faithful soldiers in Gods army. As we do so, I know that the Lord will bless us.  Not only in this life, but in the life to come.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Morford

Monday, October 5, 2015

Elder Morford arrives in his first area--Tamale

So, it's been a bit of a transition for the Momma over the last week.  Chris left the MTC about a week ago and we got lucky and found out where he was sent.  The other families had to wait until this p-day to know where their sons had gone.  It's been almost a week and a half since our last communication with our sons.

Not having the daily pictures and blog posts from the MTC was harder than I thought it would be.  I had some moments of sadness that really hurt my heart and they caught me by surprise because I'm really glad he's out serving the Lord.  I didn't expect to feel sad.  But I think there is a mourning process that we all go through as we send our children on missions and that process looks different for everyone.

One thing I still know, hurting heart or not, I wouldn't want anything to be different for Chris.  I know that it is only when things are hard that we grow.  Christ's example, besides loving with a perfect love, was to be strictly obedient to The Father and to do hard things...even when it may be tempting to back out.  Chris is learning to do this and I wouldn't want anything else for him.  He will be a better man, a better father, a better servant, a better son of God for it.

Chris wrote some wonderful letters to his little brothers.  To his 10-year-old brother, he admitted that he wished he had spent more time learning to work hard:

You are an amazing worker, Buddy, and I know you will go far if you continue that path.  I wish I could have done more when I was younger, to prepare me for hard work, but that's not what I did.  All I wanted to do was have fun.  That is not what life is about though.  Its about enduring the hard trials well, and having a good attitude while doing it.  Right now, my trainer doesn't like me, he's only been here for 4 months, and we are having some struggles.  And what did I do to prepare to get to this point?  Hardly anything.  And that is what I want to tell you...prepare NOW so that later you can have the best experience you can.  

I love you buddy.  Keep up the good work and the Lord will bless you.  I know that for sure.

Hope all is going well for you and the family.  I love you man!

Your proud older brother, 
Elder Morford

Though Tamale is spelled exactly like a favorite Mexican food dish, there is no relationship between Tamale and Mexican food...except the heat.

Chris has a trainer from Nigeria.  It's not all a bed of roses when you're adjusting to mission life, but Chris is trying to have a good attitude.

From Elder Morford:

Hi there!

I think reality has hit me full blown in the face, hard.  Like if you don't know what I am talking about, go hit yourself in the face with a shovel.  Then you will know. :)

I am here in Tamale (tom-aw-lay) and enjoying the people.  We are currently teaching 13 people the gospel, over the course of the month.  We have 2 new investigators and am just enjoying the fact that I am here!  It has rained hard here as well.  

This brother is one of the guys that has come to church and I met him for the first time this week.  He is so legit! 

I also met a sister with a baby at church and she is such a sweet lady. Both are coming to church regularly now.  The brother is being baptized here soon... after one lesson.  He had a dream that Joseph Smith handed him a Book of Mormon and then asked him what he was going to do with it.  This brother said he woke up shaking and knew that this gospel was the truth.  Sweet story!! 

This little baby is the cutest thing on the planet... well, she number 2 counting my baby sis as 1... ;D

Sister and her baby

Number 1 cutest baby on the planet

On Saturday, my companion didn't know the way to one of our lessons we were going to teach, but the Spirit guided him there.  It is crazy that just over the course of the first 4 days, there have been miracles. 

 I think that the Lord is testing me because my trainer is only 3.5 months into his mission and he LOVES controlling everything of mine (family, you should know I don't like this... ;),  but through His grace am I learning patience and long-suffering.   

I got a new haircut too! I was tired of the long locks ;) that were keeping my head roasting, so I had Elder Smith cut them for me... :D  I feel so much cooler now.  Thanks, Elder Smith!

Elder Morford's mother has not seen this haircut since this boy was 4 years old.

I am praying to the Lord that He may show me the way through this mission because I cannot do this on my own. At. All.  But by grace we are saved ONLY after all we can do as His children.  So, with that, I'm trying... hard.  And I could use all the prayers I can get! Bless you all for being so supportive of me and even though I am 3/4 around the the globe, I can feel that Love expounding with everything that I do.  May God bless you all and strengthen us in times of need.

As I have gone through this time, here already on this mission, I realized something. I know I said this before, but It takes 10,000 hours to become "perfect" at something.  and do you know how many hours a mission is, when I am awake? 10,280.  So, we as missionaries become MORE perfect at teaching and learning the gospel than something else we could be doing.

God bless you all, and please, read the scriptures, bear your testimony to someone, just do something that can get you closer to the Lord and He will bless you for it.

Elder Morford

P.S. The skies here and the kids here are SO AMAZING :)

His sky and nature pictures always make him seem close...they are his favorite.

(Momma's absolute favorite picture so far!)